“Khaas means special in Urdu, Punjab & Hindi” (Annual Report 2009-2010)
Start Date: 1987
End Date: On going
St Werburghs Centre
Bristol, BS2 9TJ
Tel: 0117 955 4070
Fax: 0117 955 4070
Opening times: Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm
Khaas seeks to promote the comprehensive needs of South Asian disabled children, their carers and families.
Aims & Objectives
To empower and enable children and young people with disabilities and special needs and their carers, to have access to relevant and appropriately designed community based resources to improve their quality of life.
To promote the educational needs of South Asian disabled/special needs children and their carers and to provide advice and information on a wide range of issues e.g. health and social services, respite, transport and welfare benefits.
To provide a safe and stimulating environment in which children with special needs and their siblings can play.
The History of Khaas
Khaas is a unique organisation in the South West, which provides services to South Asian families who have children with disabilities and special needs. It was formed in 1987 in response to research undertaken by Bristol Inner City Health Project with Asian Community Workers to meet the specific needs of South Asian families who felt isolated by language and cultural barriers. Several families were identified with disabled children and these vulnerable families were affected by depression and isolation and were disadvantaged in many ways.
Khaas has offered a wide range of activities and information, workshops and discussions since it’s formation, providing opportunitues for parents/carers to meet together to access training skills and other activities in an informal, culturally friendly environment.
Courses and activities have included Sign Language Training, Driving Theory courses, Computer Training, ESOL classes, Book Keeping, First Aid Training as well as creative and relaxation sessions such as Aromatherapy, Flower Arranging, Glass painting and Henna Art. There have also been many health awareness sessions such as Healthy eating and cooking, Blood pressure and cholesteral checking and Keep Fit sessions. Khaas has also offered Careers and benefit advice and covered such topics as Drugs Awareness, Arranged marriages and other confidential and sensitive issues.
Saturday Respite Care
This project started in 1995 at St Werburghs Community Centre with the aim of providing respite for families with children with disabilities/special needs. It continues to run throughout the year and provide a variety of activities but is now held at Felix Road Adventure Playground where the children have access to the large outdoor play area as well as the indoor area.
The Summer Holiday Play Scheme started in 1993 and continues to run throughout the summer. The aim is to encourage interaction between disabled children and their siblings. This gives them an opportunity to take part in activities together and encourages them to develop their social, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional skills.
Dress Design and Sewing
This project started in 1987 at St Werburghs City Farm. The group still runs on Wednesdays at St Werburghs Centre in partnership with local colleges who provide a specialist tutor who supports carers in designing, cutting and sewing their own outfits. Accredited and non-accredited short courses are provided.
Keep Fit and Health
Weekly keep fit sessions are offered to carers. Also healthy living workshops. These workshops educate the carers and increase their knowledge about healthy eating and leading a healthier lifestyle.
Young Female Carers
This project was established in 1999 and set up for girls who are siblings of disabled children or have a disability themselves. Khaas aims to bring together these young people in an open and relaxed environment to relieve them of their routine caring duties in a safe, fun and informal setting and to give them the opportunity to develop their life skills in a confident and stimulating environment.
Information Workshops and Discussions
These sessions provide a chance for families to turn to each other for mutual support, to talk openly and meet other parents and carers in similar situations. Khaas offers various sessions, alongside the regular classes offered each term, such as therapies including massage, pedicures, facials and threading. Also Health experts are invited to talk and discuss various topics, such as, breast cancer, menopause and depression.
One to One Group Counselling
Providing help and support in accessing appropriate organisations. This service is provided as and when carers require it.
Family Trips and Outings
Many family trips and outings are organised throughout the year so that disadvantaged families are able to socialise with other families of similar cultural background and to share their problems and ideas.
Current weekly activities – (See St Werburghs Centre Timetable)
Mon: 10:00 – 14:00
10.30 – 11.30 Keep Fit class
11.30 – 13.00 Cultural Awareness class
12.00 – 14.00 Relaxation Therapies for Carers
Wed: 10:30 – 15:00
Room 8 St Werburghs Centre
12:00 – 13:00 Cultural Awareness class
Khaas actively participates in local community events such as International Women’s Day, Know Your Community Day, which took place at Easton Community Centre on Thursday March 24, and St Werburghs Arts Trail.
Khaas have received funding from Bristol North NHS Trust, The Big Lottery Fund, Bristol City Council, the Children’s Fund, Filton College and City of Bristol College.
The end of the Big Lottery fund in March 2009 had a huge impact on the project and there were job losses and staff reduction in hours. The organisation is still running successfully though and moved into a new, spacious office in 2010 when the St Werburghs Centre refurbishment was completed.
Bristol City Council continues to support them with funding for the Saturday Respite Care and the Youth and Holiday Play schemes. Demands for their services continue to increase and many new funding avenues are being explored.
Khaas Annual Report 2009-2010